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'Dark Was The Night' From Radio City Music Hall

In a year of great music, the Dark Was the Night compilation ranks near the top, with 31 songs by artists writing and performing original works, including Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, Yeasayer, Cat Power, Andrew Bird and many more.

More recently, on May 3, the collection spawned a one-of-a-kind concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

It was a truly mammoth undertaking. Though not all 31 songs from the record were performed, you could still hear David Byrne, The Dirty Projectors, Bon Iver, The National, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, My Brightest Diamond and Feist, often in unique configurations.

The lively dynamics of the night made for some wonderful pairings and odd duets: Feist and Bon Iver, David Byrne and The Dirty Projectors, David Byrne with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, The National with My Brightest Diamond and Sharon Jones with everyone.

Dark Was the Night is a 20th-anniversary benefit collection put together by the Red Hot Organization, which has been using the power of pop culture to fight AIDS since 1989. This particular compilation was brilliantly curated by twin brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, who also curated the concert.

There are a few bits missing here that were part of the live event. Sometimes, a live performance is best left at the venue, but what we have here are all the performances that the artists are most proud to present.

Special thanks to Madison Square Garden Entertainment and Radio City Music Hall.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
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